Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Seeing Beyond Myself

Big dogs are not for city dwellers. I've heard that a lot of times. I still hear it. And I've always believed it myself. Big dogs need exercise. Not just a walk around the block. They need to run. Really run. Like get out an run till your tired and thirsty and your tongue's hanging out.

I have 2 big dogs. German Shepherds. And do they ever like to run. Every day we would go for 4-8 miles of running. Summer or winter. Good weather and often in bad weather. They were often my motivation to keep running through the last two winters. They were my constant companions to keep me going when the weather got tough. They needed the run. They were always ready for it. Early morning or late afternoon. Even a late night run was great for them. It's easier to get out the door when you have a faithful friend who's counting on you every day.

Each day I fed them breakfast. Petted them and talked to them about the day and the weather. Looked into their faces and saw them. These are dogs that adore me. Every day they look to me like I'm God. They wag their tails and their whole bodies wag in anticipation of my smile. They come running up and walk around me looking for ways to please me. If I ask them to sit. They plop down and stare at me - just hoping that I'll give them another command. Anything to please me. Anything at all. If I go through a string of commands (just to keep them in practice), they enjoy each one - like showing off their quick obedience. Because they know it pleases me.

Then I put on the leashes and head out for a run. They gently extend to the end of their leashes. They know the exact distance from me. One on each side. But they don't pull. Just to the end of the leash and match speed with me perfectly. If I adjust the speed, they adjust theirs. And we head down the Meewasin Trails. Happy as clams. Running together down the trails.

If no one's around, I talk. Talking to yourself is pretty dangerous. I know. People stare at you. I've seen them when I didn't think anyone was around and then I realise that someone is. I get embarrassed then and I try to think back to what I just said and might have been overheard. (Sigh) But I'm never really talking to myself. I'm often praying. To the Father. My dogs don't know. They think I'm chatting with them. And they listen for any words that might pertain to them. I can tell because their eyes often come back to me to watch me. Their ears are pricked up to hear anything that might be a command. They're pretty attentive all run.

Truth be known, I always wanted to be a winter runner, but never had the motivation until we had the dogs. They were the difference in my running. They have kept me faithful to daily exercise probably much better than any internal motivation. I appreciate them for that.

In fact, one day when we were running and a dog lagged a little I had a long conversation with her about her purpose in life and how important she was to me to keep me running. Dogs don't understand much of English - just their commands. But I still think they do. Or at least I sometimes act like they do, because my conversations with them go well beyond what they get.

I can't run much now. My doctor said "No more". What am I to do? It's been part of how I identified myself and understood myself. Among other things, I'm a "runner". I ran last week against medical advise. It was a sad thing to watch. I ran like an old man with a sack of potatoes on his back. Nothing like I used to run. It's amazing how fast a guy can lose his running shape. Funny thing was, I was grinning the whole time. Like a fool. Just to be back with the dogs and running. Just to feel the wind in my hair and the pounding of my feet and be back on the trails. Just to see the dogs run with me and feel their excitement and enjoyment. It was great!

I want to be like a dog! Looking to my master at every opportunity! Ready when He is - to do whatever He commands. Eager in anticipation. Showing my quick obedience. Listening to His voice trying to understand things that are often over my head. Knowing that He speaks to the Father and that I am just to be ready to listen to anything that pertains to me.

I'm going to take them for a walk today. Maybe a short run too. They need it. I'm going to look to my Master like my dogs do. In my devotions I read this great chapter!

Psalm 131
My heart is not proud, O Lord,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.
But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
like a weaned child with its mother,
like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, put your hope in the Lord
both now and forevermore.

9 Comments:

At July 05, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the best diving coach ever---dumpster diving that is!!! Just wanted you to know that you, Janet, Ashlyn, and Tyler are forever in our prayers. You were and continue to be a great role model for the boys. Your determination and poise in the face of struggle inspires us continually. Luv ya lots...

 
At July 05, 2005, Blogger Bruce said...

Dwayne,

Your continued faith in the face of adversity is really inspiring.

Christ be with you, Christ within you,
Christ behind you, Christ before you,
Christ beside you, Christ to win you;
Christ to comfort and restore you;
Christ beneath you, Christ above you,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love you,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

May God bless you and your family and heal you of your illness.

 
At July 05, 2005, Blogger Big Chief said...

Wow, you're amazing. I'm learning so much about you from reading your blog each day. I didn't know you did all the stuff you've done. Its amazing. Not being able to run sucks, I hurt my knee in Bible School and never could get back the form to run again. It always flows in the veins, the urge to run. But keep listening to your Doctors, and as you said, keep listening and obeying God. Wow, thats deep stuff. And keep loving the stuff you can do. It sounds to me that there are so many amazing things you can do, like encouraging, and even writing this blog is really helping me. See ya later Cuz!

 
At July 05, 2005, Anonymous beverly said...

I am becoming more aware of how to use the moments in my day simply because of your ministry through this form of communication. You are helping others to press on Dwayne. Thanks dear brother.

 
At July 07, 2005, Blogger Brad said...

Dwayne, I walk my dog every morning too but in an off-leash area. Here is another analogy about our relationship with God. At the off-leash Cheyenne (my big Shepherd/Malamute cross)is free to go and do whatever she wants (Freedom of choice). When she is off doing her own thing I TRY to spend time waiting on God. I expect Cheyenne to keep her eye on me and go where I am going. She also needs me to keep my eye on her because she can get distracted. I regularly have to "call" her so she gets her focus back on me.

 
At July 13, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dwayne:
Friends are quiet Angels who lift us to our feet,when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.God Bless.

 
At February 04, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did you find it? Interesting read »

 
At February 05, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where did you find it? Interesting read »

 
At February 20, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best regards from NY! » » »

 

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